The customer is pushing us to hurry and advise them on a server to buy, and then they want us to get it up and running and support it. They will be running a mid-range accounting system on it, and hope to someday add Exchange. This will be our first server, and theirs as well, so I need some guidance on a few issues since the vendors have not been much help so far. We currently have them set up with 10 XP systems that do file sharing on another XP system, but they plan to add at least five more next month, so they while they are growing they want to replace this XP file-sharing system with a server running Win 2003 SBS.
One requirement they have is that we buy them IBM, so I have no choice on that. With their budget, it looks like the IBM 8490J2U at about $1200 is in the right price range and has good specs. The info on that model is at this link, at the bottom of the page:
After much research on e-e, it looks like RAID-5 will be best for them. And, further e-e research indicates 3 WD Raptor SATA drives running on a hardware controller would offer good performance at a good price. Does that sound like a good choice?
I need a recommendation on a good controller. And, is it safe to assume that we can put this controller and these 3 Raptors in this IBM and expect it all to easily 'come together' into a RAID-5 setup and work right without a lot of hassles?
Since we are new to Win 2003 SBS, we were thinking about buying the retail package this time, MS part no. T72-01411, presumably getting all the docs with it. But for $200 more, they have a part that seems to offer 'software assurance' and support. Does anyone know if you get much of anything for your extra money--keeping in mind this is our first server install.
I do understand that I will need to buy more CALs since they will have 15 XP systems connected. But is there anything else that I'm obviously missing?
Any recommendations on the configuration will be appreciated!